A busy McDonalds branch would become a magnet for troublemakers if it were allowed to serve customers through the night, police claim.
Police fear the restaurant at Selly Oak Shopping Park - on Aston Webb Boulevard - will cause misery for people living nearby with increased noise, litter, boy racers and antisocial behaviour through the night.
The restaurant is applying for permission to serve late night refreshment to sit-in and takeaway customers from 11:00pm until 05:00am throughout the week.
Speaking at a Birmingham City Council Licensing meeting this morning (Wed Oct 26), West Midlands Police claimed the Selly Oak Shopping Park has already become a crime hotspot after opening two years ago.
The police spokesman said: “In the last two years there has been an increase in crime of over 48% mostly brought about by the Selly Oak Shopping Park. In the last 12 months alone the site has experienced 137 recorded crimes.
“This accounts for 4 per cent of crime for the whole of the Selly Oak Ward. I regularly speak with staff and security at the location who tell me that a lot of incidents go unreported due to not having time to contact the police.
“The site itself is also very busy in terms of traffic and any additional premises added to the site for example a restaurant drive-thru, would exacerbate traffic issues and make it difficult for emergency vehicles from the nearby hospital to pass.
“Bristol Road has plenty of fast food premises that accommodate and create a burden on police resources due to alcohol-related crimes, assaults, robberies and sexual assaults. The increase in hours to the McDonald’s site would attract more vulnerable person’s to the site which in turn creates the opportunity for more victims which will spread the anti-social behaviour further afield. ”
What have residents said about McDonald’s application to open until 5am?
One resident who has lived in the area for 28 years pleaded with the licensing authority to refuse the late-night licence as it may lead to criminal activities.
“Operating any food business in the late night may lead to unhealthy social and/or criminal activities. Not to mention, the cleanliness and hygiene issues as well as the university students / young age groups in the area” they said.
What has McDonald’s said about the Selly Oak crime claims?
But a representative for McDonald’s, Leo Charalambides labelled claims of crime and disorder “unsubstantiated” and said it was “not for the police to tell them what to do from 8 o’clock”.
Mr Charalambides said: “The police are concerned that we cannot meet the demand the licence would create in terms of calls to service for crime and disorder. Well, police resources aren’t relevant here.
“What it boils down to is the police saying ‘I can’t meet my part of this social contract’ and that of course, is not relevant. And also the evidence itself is such as it is, it is problematic.
“We have a body of unsubstantiated evidence that sets out some police fears that are based on broad generalisations that are not based on the licensable activity.” The licensing committee will now decide on the licence within the next five working days.
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